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Lake Profile


General Information

Description Bangweulu means "The place where the water meets the sky." Swamps surround the lake for hundreds of kilometers.
Country Zambia
Latitude -11° 26' 57" (-11.4493)
Longitude 29° 43' 46" (29.7297)
River Basin Congo


 Bangweulu locator map
 Zambia map
 Africa Lake Biodiversity Conservation Priorities 2003

Physical Characteristics

Description The lake is approximately 80 km long and 40 km wide. The Bangweulu swampsare formed by the flooding of the lower Chambeshi River. The lake is drained in the South by the Luapula River, a tributary of the Congo River.
Volume 5.00 km3
Surface Area 9,840.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 4.0 m
Maximum depth: 10.0 m
Type Fresh
Catchment Catchment size: 100,800.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 10:1


Economic Value About 57,000 metric tons of fish are harvested from the lake each year.
Major Cities Samfya

Watershed Management


Biodiversity Conservation

Species of Concern



ILEC Database

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
International Lake Environment Committee, the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Agency, Government of Japan. 1997. World Lakes Database.

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